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15 Natural Ways to Get Rid of Gophers

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15 Natural Ways to Get Rid of Gophers

Have you been seeing more and more gophers around your property lately? If so, you probably don’t know what to do.

Gophers can cause damage to your yard and garden with their digging activities [1]. And while many people choose to take care of them by calling a gopher removal professional, there are actually a few home remedies to get rid of these pests that can be just as effective.

How to Get Rid of Gophers Naturally

Pocket gophers can be pesky little creatures to control, but there are many ways to do so without killing them. Below are some natural remedies that work well:

1. Castor Oil

Castor oil is effective because it’s a natural repellent you can use to keep these critters out of your garden and backyard.

There are a few ways to use it. One is to mix ¼ cup with 1 tablespoon of dish soap in a gallon of water and pour it into their hole.

Another is to put the mixture in a spray bottle and apply it around the problem areas.

And finally, you can add in some tabasco sauce, but this time the recipe will be ½ cup castor oil, one cup water, a tsp. of tabasco sauce, and a few drops of peppermint oil.

Mix it all up, and then soak some cotton balls in it. Afterward, place the soaked cotton balls in gopher holes.

This DIY remedy also works great at deterring ground moles.

2. Repellent Plants

There are also a number of plants that you can use as a repellent to keep gophers away. Gophers find the scent of these plants offensive.

Repellent plants include lavender, pine trees, eucalyptus trees, marigolds, and rosemary bushes. You can plant them around your yard.

3. Flood Gopher Holes

Flooding gopher holes is also effective in getting them to leave your property. This method works by flooding the tunnels with water, which causes the animals to abandon the tunnels.

To do this, find the gopher hole and then use a garden hose with high pressure or buckets of water to pour into it.

Once you have filled up the tunnel with enough water, leave the area immediately to allow the gopher to escape.

4. Underground Fencing

Installing underground fencing is a DIY method you can try to protect your raised beds from burrowing animals.

The fence should be installed 2 feet or more below ground level and buried in the garden bed. Also, the fencing material should be heavy-duty, so you may want to go with hardware cloth.

5. Gopher Baskets

Gopher baskets are essentially wire cages that are placed around the plants or crops you want to protect. These wire cages are designed to keep gophers and other rodents away.

6. Ultrasonic Repellents

This is another good deterrent option. This method of pest control uses sound waves to annoy and deter rodents like gophers, chipmunks, and squirrels.

To work effectively, you’ll need to set up the device in a spot where these pest problems are the worst.

7. Traps

Another humane method to control gopher populations is to trap them. Trapping gophers is a non-toxic way to get them out of your yard.

The spring and fall are the best times to set the trap. Common live traps include the CINCH and the Tomahawk. Follow the instructions that come with your order to bait and set these traps up effectively.

8. Garlic Stakes

Place some garlic stakes into the gopher holes, and you’re done!

The idea is that when the gophers dig around and come across the garlic, it will let them leave the area. The smell of garlic can be unpleasant for them, so they’ll think twice about entering your property again!

Plus, this method does not require any toxic chemicals, gasoline, or traps that could harm other animals or creatures living in your area.

9. Peppermint Oil

Applying some peppermint oil around gophers’ entry locations can also be effective in repelling them. You can use rags, sponges, and even a few cotton balls to apply the solution.

Another way you can use peppermint oil is by mixing it with water to make a homemade gopher repellent spray that you’ll apply in and around your garden. This will create an unpleasant environment that these burrowing rodents don’t like, and they’ll stay away.

Not only that, but its scent may even help deter other pests that might be visiting your garden too—so it’s definitely worth considering.

10. Dogs and Cats

Believe it or not, dogs and cats can help deter gophers. While not all cats and dogs will go after gophers, their presence alone may scare the gophers away.

If you have a barking dog or an outdoor-friendly cat, consider leaving them in the garden for a few hours. You could also scatter some cat or dog poop around areas where gophers are likely to show up.

11. Barn Owls

There’s one old-fashioned way that you may not have considered: barn owls.

Barn owls are predators of rodents, and they love to eat gophers [2]. You can attract these owls by putting up a nesting box for them.

12. Coffee Grounds

Coffee grounds are also a great DIY control remedy to help reduce the presence of gophers in your surroundings.

All you need to do is bury some coffee grounds around your garden area and in the holes that the gophers have been digging. The grounds will work as a repellent for these critters.

13. Mothballs

Some people advocate for using mothballs because they contain a chemical that these rodents find unpleasant.

Just place the mothballs inside gopher tunnels, wrapped up in a piece of cloth. The gophers will frantically abandon their tunnels once they smell the mothballs.

14. Victor Mole & Gopher Repellent

This product works because of its main ingredient, castor oil.

These pests hate castor oil! As a result, this poison-free repellent will cause the critters to leave.

15. Holy Moley

This repellent product will keep burrowing animals like gophers away from your yard. Holy Moley is made with castor oil and Fuller’s earth.

Gophers cannot tolerate the taste and scent of this product. They may also experience stomach discomfort if they ingest it.

Moreover, Holy Moley does not contain poison or pesticides and is completely safe for both pets and humans.


So, there you have it—a few natural remedies to get rid of gophers. All of these have been known to be effective, but it’s important to remember that not every method will work for every person or every situation.

If you’re having trouble using any of these methods, don’t be afraid to call in a professional.

Picture via Flickr

Sasha Brown

Sasha Brown is a blogger and lover of all things natural.

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